Phil Kornblut

He was set to commit to Clemson. Now the Gamecocks are in the driver’s seat

How Coach Muschamp watches film to evaluate recruits

Matt Lindsey, director of player personnel for USC football, walks through a film session with coach Will Muschamp.
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Matt Lindsey, director of player personnel for USC football, walks through a film session with coach Will Muschamp.

Things can change quickly in the world of recruiting. A month ago Alpharetta, Ga., wide receiver Ze’Vian Capers seemed headed for Clemson. He planned to visit there this weekend with an eye towards a commitment. But that relationship changed and Capers instead visited South Carolina. Now, it’s the Gamecocks in the driver’s seat and in position to land a possible public commitment soon.

Capers has been a top Gamecocks target for a while. He came in for the Texas A&M game last season, and Will Muschamp and Bryan McClendon have stayed in his ear. This visit gave him and his family the chance to see things on the inside they hadn’t seen before. He was joined on this visit by his father and his siblings. His mother, who is a nurse, wasn’t able to make this visit.

“It was pretty impressive actually,” Capers said “With their new facility that they just built, my feeling now, we enjoyed ourselves a lot. We had a great conversation with coach McClendon and coach Muschamp and we are very comfortable with South Carolina in terms of recruitment so far. Coach McClendon and coach Muschamp kind of summed up a little bit of where they’d have me come in as a freshman if I were to commit to them. We kind of liked what we saw. We kind of got a family vibe. Their facilities were really nice, but that’s not really drew us in. What really drew us in were the relationships and the conversation that my family and I had with coach McClendon and coach Muschamp.”

Capers said he also got a strong message from the coaches about exactly how they feel about him. And it’s a winning message to him.

“Yeah, not also want to have but they need that player, they need this type of player to get them to win championships,” he said. “As of right now I would say South Carolina is number one. Actually got invited to go to Auburn for and unofficial visit this Saturday, and I know my mother was not able to come with us on the South Carolina visit. If she is available this weekend to come on the visit, I will change my visit from going to Auburn and go to South Carolina and let coach BMac and coach Muschamp know that I’m 100 percent committed.”

What’s interesting to Capers is an administrative snafu the day of the Georgia game nearly killed the Gamecocks’ chances for him.

“We pull up the parking lot and were talking to the person who was there and I was like, hey, I’m a recruit and I got invited to come to this game,” Capers said. “And she was like, ‘Well, I’m sorry, we’re out of parking.’ So, my mom goes, ‘What in the devil? Call coach Muschamp right now and see what’s going on.’ I tried to get in contact with him but I couldn’t because they were already on the field. We literally drove three hours there and three hours back. We couldn’t even get in the game. My mom was pissed. She was like, ‘South Carolina, they are off the list, off the list.’ Coach Muschamp called and apologized, so, we go back for Texas A&M and South Carolina and luckily they fixed all the parking issues. She enjoyed herself because she’s from Charleston, so she got that family bond type deal.”

So, if his mom can get away and join him next week, Capers plans to return to USC and make things official. That’s assuming there are no major changes as he faced with his Clemson situation.

“I really thought that the receivers that are coming in and the receivers that are already there, I just felt like I will probably have to maybe redshirt or kind of sit the bench a little bit just because of coach Scott, the way he develops his receivers for the NFL,” Capers said. “I love competition. I’m not afraid of competition. Maybe I wasn’t that guy that they really wanted to recruit. It’s just kind of a little foggy.”

Capers said Arkansas, Auburn, Florida and Tennessee are others high up on his list behind the Gamecocks at this point.

Notes:

Hampton, Ga., offensive lineman William Rogers made an official visit to South Carolina over the weekend. A source said Rogers would be interested in committing to the Gamecocks with an offer. No offer has been publicly acknowledge. He also took officials to Illinois, Colorado State,Georgia State and FIU.

Savannah, Tenn., 2021 tight end Hudson Wolfe plans to visit USC this coming weekend. He has a Gamecock offer.

South Carolina offered tight end John Copenhaver of Roswell, Ga., while he was in for a visit Saturday.

The Gamecocks offered 2021 safety Evan Slocum of Cartersville, Ga., during his junior day visit Saturday.

USC cornerback target Jammie Robinson of Leesburg, Ga., did not visit anywhere this past weekend. He met with Travaris Robinson last week. Robinson took official visits to USC, Auburn, Kentucky and Tennessee.

South Carolina defensive end target Kedrick Bingley-Jones of Kannapolis, N.C. visited NC State over the weekend.

USC target linebacker Mohamed Kaba of Clinton, N.C., visited North Carolina Saturday.

Gamecocks 2019 targets Jaquaze Sorrells and Dequanteous Watts did go on their official visits this weekend to Penn State and Louisville respectively. A third target, offensive linamen Darius Washington, is visiting Florida State.

South Carolina Gamecocks football coach Will Muschamp explains what it team's new football operations building means to the program, recruiting and what it will have in terms of amenities.

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